Baños para el desarrollo

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19/07/2017, by Gemma Roquet

En el mundo hay 748 millones de personas sin acceso a agua potable. Una de las causas es la ausencia de infraestructuras de saneamiento adecuadas, entre las cuales destaca la falta de un baño en cada hogar. La situación es más grave de lo que parece: en el mundo hay más personas con teléfono móvil que con un baño. ¿Qué consecuencias tiene semejante carencia?

Una buena salud es fundamental para el desarrollo humano. Además de tener acceso a infraestructuras sanitarias como hospitales, esta también está condicionada por elementos cotidianos que pueden garantizarla, como la existencia de inodoros y otras infraestructuras de saneamiento. El saneamiento mejorado o básico incluye todas aquellas instalaciones que aseguran una higiénica separación entre los excrementos y las personas: letrinas o inodoros que vierten en un sistema de alcantarillado, a una fosa séptica o a un pozo simple, un pozo negro con ventilación o losa o un sistema de inodoros secos.

Teniendo en cuenta que cada persona emite cien gramos de excrementos y litro y medio de orina al día, se debería priorizar la manera como se depositan estos desechos, que contienen virus, bacterias y parásitos, para evitar la propagación de enfermedades. A menudo se piensa en grandes estrategias para combatir la pobreza, pero dar acceso a un baño adecuado a los dos tercios de la población que no lo tienen sería una inversión con efectos positivos inimaginables. Según la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), cuando todo el mundo tenga acceso a un saneamiento adecuado, la calidad del agua será más óptima y el número de personas muertas debido a su contaminación se reducirá.

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What Kenyan voters got for the $500m spent on elections

 

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18/08/2017, by Nanjala Nyabola

Raila Odinga, leader of the National Super Alliance and Kenya’s opposition is petitioning the Supreme Court for a review of the results of the 2017 election, easing the political pressure that has kept the country in suspended animation for the last week.

On the morning of August 9th, about 12 hours after results started trickling on the Independent Election and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) results transmission website, leader of the largest opposition coalition Raila Odinga claimed that the website had been hacked to under-represent his share of the vote. On Friday, at 10:30 pm, the chairman of the IEBC, Wafula Chebukati, declared Uhuru Kenyatta the winner triggering a flurry of protests in Nairobi and Kisumu. According to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights at least 24 people have died.

Kenya’s elections generally have three phases. First, there is a jittery pre-election phase peppered with accusations of malpractice; second, a peaceful and even joyous voting phase; and third, an anxious wait for final results and the inevitable fallout.

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Charlottesville: Race and Terror

14/08/17

On Saturday hundreds of white nationalists, alt-righters, and neo-Nazis traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia to participate in the “Unite the Right” rally. By Saturday evening three people were dead – one protester, and two police officers – and many more injured.

“VICE News Tonight” correspondent Elle Reeve went behind the scenes with white nationalist leaders, including Christopher Cantwell, Robert Ray, David Duke, and Matthew Heimbach — as well as counter-protesters. VICE News Tonight also spoke with residents of Charlottesville, members of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Charlottesville Police.

From the neo-Nazi protests at Emancipation Park to Cantwell’s hideaway outside of Virginia, “VICE News Tonight” provides viewers with exclusive, up close and personal access inside the unrest.

This episode of VICE News Tonight aired August 14, 2017 on HBO.

Source: VICE News

Eventuais sanções à Venezuela podem piorar sofrimento da população, diz relator da ONU

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11/08/2017

As sanções não são a resposta para a crescente crise na Venezuela, e a comunidade internacional não deve seguir por esse caminho, disse o relator especial das Nações Unidas Idriss Jazairy nesta sexta-feira (11).

“As sanções podem piorar a situação da população venezuelana, que já está sofrendo com a inflação paralisante e a falta de acesso adequado a alimentos e remédios”, disse Jazairy.

O especialista enfatizou que esforços no sentido de prejudicar a economia venezuelana só levarão a violações dos direitos das pessoas comuns. “Sanções causam perturbação a qualquer Estado, e podem particularmente ter efeitos devastadores para cidadãos de países em desenvolvimento quando prejudicam a economia”.

“O diálogo é a base de uma solução para as disputas”, disse Jazairy. “Os Estados devem se engajar em diálogo construtivo com o governo venezuelano para chegar a soluções para os desafios muito reais enfrentados”, disse.

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How Gaza was made into an unlivable place

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24/07/2017, by Michael Lynk

Gaza and Tel Aviv lie only 75 kilometres apart from each other. They share the same sandy topography and the same intensely hot Levantine summers. But the similarities largely end there. Any recent satellite image taken at night over the eastern Mediterranean would show an incandescent blaze for Tel Aviv, and only wan pinpricks of light further down the shore in Gaza.

Gaza is in the third month of an externally enforced reduction of its already meagre electrical power supply. The enclave of two million people would ordinarily require about 450 megawatts (MW) of electricity daily for around-the-clock power. However, over much of the past decade, as part of the tight Israeli blockade of Gaza, its power supplies have fluctuated around 200MW, resulting in persistent blackouts. But over the past several months, according to the Israeli human rights organisation Gisha, Gaza’s supply each day has varied from 140MW to an all-time low of 70MW, lengthening the blackouts and the human suffering.

The immediate cause of the power crisis lies with the dispute between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas over fuel taxation. This prompted the PA to request the Israel reduce the 120MW it sold daily down to around 70MW, and Israel has complied.

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Dormir en la calle, el sufrimiento venezolano por un futuro en Colombia

Con el empeoramiento de la crisis en el vecino país, cada vez hay más venezolanos en Cúcuta, la segunda ciudad con mayor desempleo de Colombia.

José lleva una semana durmiendo en la calle y Rafael a veces se queda en un refugio donde le dan de comer. Como otros venezolanos que migran a Colombia padecen un rosario de penurias buscando empleo y un futuro mejor para sus familias.

Es casi la media noche y tanto José Flores como Rafael Mendoza deberán dormir a las puertas del albergue Centro de Migraciones de la Diócesis de Cúcuta, la ciudad fronteriza por donde llegaron desde Venezuela tratando de dejar atrás la severa crisis en su país y buscar oportunidades.

Flores, un pastelero de 50 años, agarró unos 10 dólares, una mochila con pocas cosas y dejó en su oriunda Maracay (norte venezolano) a su esposa y dos hijos para buscar empleo en Cúcuta, ciudad de unos 600.000 habitantes. Ya lleva una semana de búsqueda y nada.

“Como no tenemos plata para una pieza tenemos que dormir en la calle. Prácticamente somos como unos indigentes. A veces no nos bañamos, no comemos”, dice a la AFP este hombre, quien hace unos meses pesaba 80 kilos y hoy luce delgado y demacrado por la escasez de alimentos que padeció en Venezuela.

Fuente: Semana 

We need a Social Economy, Not a Hyper-Financialized Economy

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28/07/2017, Charles Hugh Smith

We all know what a hyper-financialized economy looks like–we live in one:central banks create credit/money out of thin air and distribute it to the already-wealthy, who use the nearly free money to buy back corporate shares, enriching themselves while creating zero jobs. Or they use the central-bank money to outbid mere savers to scoop up income-producing assets: farmland, rental properties, etc.

This asymmetric wealth accumulation and avoidance of risk creates a self-reinforcing feedback loop, as the super-wealthy financiers and corporations use a slice of their income to buy political protection of their income streams, creating cartels and quasi-monopolies that are impervious to competition and meaningful regulation.

The only possible output of a hyper-financialized economy is rapidly increasing wealth and income inequality–precisely what we see now.

What we need is a social economy, an economy that recognizes purposes and values beyond maximizing private gains by any means necessary, which is the sole goal of hyper-financialized economies.

Given the dominance of profit-maximizing markets and the state, we naturally assume these are the economy. But there is a third sector, the community economy, which is comprised of everything that isn’t directly controlled by profit-maximizing companies or the state.

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